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This year (2022) KBIA celebrates its 50th anniversary - the station first went on air in May 1972.To mark that milestone our reporting team reached out to alums across the country and in a wide range of media. We spoke with them about the work of journalism and their memories of KBIA.The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.

KBIA alum Jason Rosenbaum covers Missouri state politics

Jason Rosenbaum wears a blue suit and glasses and stands in front of a seated audience. The backs of several seated audience members are visible in the foreground. Behind him, a white board has a drawing of a smiley face with a handlebar mustache and the phrase "You're doing great!"
Courtesy of Missouri Boys State
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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum is a political correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio and a member of the class of 2006.

Rosenbaum spoke with KBIA producer Shea Baechle.

Jason Rosenbaum:
I am a political correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio. I graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2006.

Shea Baechle:
And how did KBIA and the public media at the University of Missouri influence, kind of, where you are today?

Jason Rosenbaum:
One of the, I think, reporters/producers asked me to come on and do kind of a debriefing about my experience working as a state government reporter at the Columbia Tribune.

And that kind of morphed into a weekly commentary where I would write and record a three and a half minute analysis. But that was my first real experience doing radio in any significant capacity.

Without KBIA, I don't think I would have had the interest in public media that I have right now.

Shea Baechle:
And what is your mission?

Jason Rosenbaum:
I think that my mission is to try to bring kind of the complex and insular world of Missouri state politics to a broader audience.

And I became a St. Louis public radio employee in 2013. Eight months into my radio career, got thrown into the Ferguson protest movement and became a formidable event in not only my journalism career, but my life.

Shea Baechle:
I know you said Ferguson was definitely one of your biggest stories that really influenced you, and kind of your outlook on things. But what has been your most impactful?

Jason Rosenbaum:
I think that there was one particular story during Ferguson that was particularly impactful. I was at a St. Louis County Council meeting, and there were very few reporters there and there were very few people there.

And there was an 11-year-old named Marquis Govan, and he made a two and a half minute speech about why people were protesting in Ferguson.

I had actually sat and listened to the speech, and I was able to, like, find him and interview him and do a feature for St. Louis Public Radio.

But what I'm really enthused about is that a lot of people during Ferguson got like this burst of fame and Marquis stayed active in local politics. He worked for political campaigns, he continued to be outspoken and go to protests.

And now he's at like St. Louis University where he's excelling at school. But I always look back at that one, because that one made an impact on a particular person.

Shea Baechle:
Why should listeners support KBIA?

Jason Rosenbaum:
I think that listeners should support KBIA because in addition to being just a tremendous space, where budding journalists learn how to do radio journalism, it also is a place where a lot of important journalism gets done.

I think that KBIA does an exceptional job of covering big issues, not only in Columbia, but in the surrounding mid-Missouri area, and even Northeast Missouri really, really well.

The fact that it's been able to remain such a major staple of mid-Missouri life for 50 years, and has just produced so much high quality work, I think is indicative of why it deserves support from not only people in Columbia, not only people in mid-Missouri but the entire state.

The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.